Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Not running away, Govt tries to placate Oppn’ as they slam suspension of question hour move

The Monsoon session 2020 of Parliament had started today, Lok Sabha has now been adjourned till tomorrow. Congress MP in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury targetted the govt for suspending the question hour. He said that it was the golden hour, they were trying to strangulate the democracy. DMK MP in Lok Sabha, TR Baalu dragged the attention towards the NEET exam because of which students had committed suicide. NCP’s Supriya Sule attacked centre over economy and unemployment in the Lok Sabha.

BJP MP in Lok Sabha, Pralhad Joshi said, ‘It’s an extraordinary situation. When Assemblies aren’t ready to meet for a single day, we -with around 800-850 MPs- are meeting here. There are so many ways to question the govt, govt isn’t running away from the discussion. We’re ready for discussion.’

On the question of not holding the Question Hour, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that the leaders of most parties agreed over no Question Hour & Zero Hour for 30 minutes. ‘We apprised you (Speaker) of it following which decision was taken by you. I appeal to all members of House to co-operate as Session is being held in an extraordinary situation.’

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Addressing the Covi-19 pandemic, Union Health Minister Dr Harshvardhan said that India has been able to limit its cases and deaths per million to 3,328 cases per million and 55 deaths per million population respectively, which is one of the lowest in the world as compared to similarly affected countries.

Leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury and party leader K Suresh on Monday gave adjournment notices over the issue of Chinese incursion in Eastern Ladakh on Monday.

India and China have been engaged in a standoff since April-May over the transgressions by the Chinese Army in multiple areas including the Finger area, Galwan Valley, Hot springs and Kongrung Nala. The situation worsened after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in violent clashes with Chinese troops in Galwan Valley in June.
The Lok Sabha was adjourned for an hour, shortly after it met, on Monday following obituary references and offering tributes to former members.

Ravi Kishan, BJP MP in Lok Sabha said that the problem of drug trafficking/addiction is on a rise, conspiracy is being hatched to destroy country’s youth, our neighbouring countries are contributing. He said that smuggling of drugs from Pakistan & China is done every year and it is brought via Punjab & Nepal.

Lok Sabha MPs paid tribute to former President Pranab Mukherjee, legendary Indian classical vocalist Pandit Jasraj, ex-Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, Madhya Pradesh Governor Lalji Tandon, Uttar Pradesh Ministers Kamal Rani and Chetan Chauhan and ex-Union Minister Rahguvansh Prasad Singh and others who passed away recently.

Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said to media, ‘Govt is accountable to Parliament. When have they reported to us on talks b/w Defence & Foreign Ministers (of India & China)? The nation needs to be taken into confidence by govt. Question of support for military beyond debate we’re very strongly with our Army’.

The fourth session of 17th Lok Sabha and 252nd session of Rajya Sabha is scheduled to be held today and subject to exigencies of government business, may conclude on October 1.

According to a press release from the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs, the session will provide a total of 18 sittings spread over a period of 18 days (all the days including Saturdays and Sundays of the ensuing session will be working days) and a total of 47 items have been identified for being taken up during the Monsoon Session 2020. (These include 45 Bills and two financial items).

This will be the first Parliament session being held amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore all safety measures have been taken to conduct the session as per guidelines issued for COVID-19. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Sunday has sent a safety COVID-19 kit along with a letter to all the parliamentarians amid the pandemic.

Birla stated in the letter to parliamentarians that as they were aware, the Monsoon Session of Parliament was commencing on 14 September 2020 and would last up to October 1 without any holiday in between, the session was being held in extraordinary circumstances. He added that while discharging the Constitutional responsibilities, they also had to comply with all the Covid-19 related guidelines.

The Speaker said that Lok Sabha Secretariat has made all the arrangements for members’ safety and convenience to enable them to participate in the deliberations of the House without any apprehension.

On the other hand, MPs will be given packed food in the canteen during the Monsoon session. This is among the several measures that are being taken in this session in the wake of the coronavirus. In this context, a menu has been issued from the canteen of the Parliament. As per the menu, there will be different types of packed breakfast in the canteen for the MPs.

At the same time, they will be able to get 4 categories of packed lunch, which include vegetarian food, South Indian, non-vegetarian, and combo meal. In addition, hygiene will be taken care of in the canteen. There will be a four-hour session for each House each day (9 am to 1 pm for Rajya Sabha and 3 pm to 7 pm for Lok Sabha. But on the first day, only i.e. on September 14, of the Lok Sabha will meet in the morning session.

The session will see other measures like seating MPs in a staggered way in chambers of both Houses, as well as galleries to maintain physical distancing norms, the introduction of mobile app for registering of MPs’ attendance and seats separated with poly-carbon sheets in the House. The Zero Hour will be there and the un-starred questions will be laid on the table.

The total 11 Bills to replace ordinances are as follows: (i)The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, 2020. (ii) The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Prices Assurance and Farm Services Bill, 2020.(iii) The Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020. (iv) The Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2020. (v) The Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill, 2020.(vi) The Insolvency & Bankruptcy (Second) Amendment Bill, 2020 ( vii) The Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill, 2020. (viii) The Taxation and Other Laws (Relaxation of Certain Provisions) Bill, 2020 (ix)The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (x) The Salary and Allowances of Ministers (Amendment) Bill, 2020 (xi) The Salary, Allowances and Pension of Members of Parliament (Amendment) Bill, 2020 are required to be passed during the ensuing Monsoon Session.

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